What do you mean, “Maundy”?
Pastor Mark Jeske
The evening of Jesus’ arrest and condemnation in Jewish and Roman courts began quietly with the annual Passover meal in an upper room in Jerusalem. Jesus used those final golden hours of freedom as a teaching retreat. Much of what he said and did shocked the disciples: he knelt and washed their feet, he predicted his death and resurrection, and then he said this: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John13:34).
Earlier in their training he had told them that the trademark of an authentic believer was adherence to Christ’s Word. Now he added a “new” commandment that wasn’t really new but timeless: “Love one another.” What makes it new is that our sinful natures continually generate selfish thoughts and selfish words and selfish behaviors. As Christ’s forgiving grace is new to us every morning, giving us a spiritually freshening shower of forgiveness, so we can choose anew to treat other people as Christ treats us—with patient, steady, unconditional love.
It is the Latin word for “commandment,” mandatum, which probably gave its name to this special Thursday. As we ponder that awesome evening and its images of the Lamb of God eating Passover lamb with his friends, humbly washing their feet, and unlocking the mysteries of God’s words for their comfort, we are nothing less than inspired. Inspired to love.
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